The always struggling Israeli right-far-right coalition looks to be on the brink of falling apart once again tonight after a far-reaching speech by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman undermining virtually all the foreign policy stances of the Netanyahu government and chastizing the prime minister as “unrealistic.”
In the course of the speech, Lieberman managed to throw a monkey wrench into the prospect of rapprochement with Turkey, condemning Turks in general as “liars,” and insisted that peace with the Palestinians was not only “impossible” but was “simply forbidden.”
Netanyahu quickly issued a statement disavowing the positions, and reminding Lieberman that only the prime minister gets to define the government’s policies. It seems that much of the damage, however, has already been done.
It is hardly the first time the two have clashed openly since forming the government, and indeed Netanyahu has found himself regularly having to play the role of foreign minister and engaging in diplomatic damage control personally simply because Lieberman’s Foreign Ministry refuses to do so.
Increasingly, however, it seems the two factions are wholly incompatible, and Netanyahu is finding his coalition strained by Labor for his hawkish stances against the peace talks, and from the right by Lieberman’s faction for not being vehemently against peace on general principle.